Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

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Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby Alan » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:04 am

Here is a link to BBC Radio´s "Outlook". The piece deals with the Jorge Benavides character "Negro Mama", a caricature of a lazy, dump, thieving black, which - depending on your point of view - is either hilarious or sickening. Opinions of Peruvians interviewed in the piece range from: "If you don´t like it, turn it off" , to "this perpetuates a stereotype that helps keep blacks oppressed".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/progr ... peru.shtml

At times in this forum we have talked about how being a foreigner in Peru can result in getting charged a little more than the going price, or - as somebody mentioned recently - it can even inspire selective bad treatment from law enforcement officials, and while that may be true, probably most here agree that this society gives a tremendous amount of unearned privileges to (white?) foreigners which outweigh the negatives.

It is certainly an interesting theme, so.. a couple questions for anybody who wants to take them on:

1) Is the issue of racism in Peru as bad as most outsiders perceive it to be? In other words: are we enlightened or judgmental?
2) What have been your experience with race in other South American countries, and how does they compare with Peru?
3) If you are a non-white foreigner, what is your perspective? In what cases does being a foreigner trump discrimination?
4) Will things change here? How will that happen? How long will it take?

- Alan


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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby mulcahen » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:08 pm

I think the last speaker in the radio-clip sums it up by saying " an afro peruvian agenda is a national agenda. It is about citizens... and human rights. While the article concentrates on racism towards black people, there is a lot of racism (classism?) towards indigenous people too.There is certainly a lot of inequality in Peru.

Are tv characters like Negro Mama offensive? I am guessing if someone was complaining about it then it is offensive to some people, in that it perpetuates a negative stereotype. Is this similar to Enid Blyton's golliwog who was banned because in the Noddy books he was always stealing? On reflection ( and I may be wrong) there are not many black characters on TV, so what black role models do children have to aspire to if all they are shown is a lazy, thieving no good?

One of the things I like in Peru is that people can call each other gordo, flaco,la gringa, negro, chino, etc etc without it being taken as or meant as an offence. I think this is healthy in comparison to the state of affairs we have in UK for example where we are perhaps over politically correct and over sensitive.

Other western countries may be a bit more racially integrated and equal than Peru, but they themselves still have a lot of ignorant people who are blatantly racist and there is still inequality.

Is Peru making progress? I am not so sure it is in this respect. In fact maybe the difference is that other countries/ governments are at least making an effort, whereas that of Peru seems to have no interest in a fairer society.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby cuymagico » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:41 pm

Please, remind me what the privileges are of being a white foreigner? And do they outweigh being made a target of every kind of scam, and random people's resentment, and those looks you get when going out in public with someone whose skin is as dark as 98% of Peruvians? For all that, how many people in this forum with a uni degree are barely pulling in $500/month?

Of course it's a wonderful that discrimination against blacks is finally being talked about. Let's see if the Peruvians do a better job than other countries of moving beyond talk and actually doing something about it.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby Alan » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:28 pm

cuymagico wrote:Please, remind me what the privileges are of being a white foreigner? And do they outweigh being made a target of every kind of scam, and random people's resentment, and those looks you get when going out in public with someone whose skin is as dark as 98% of Peruvians? .



Those are some very good points. I suppose the main advantage that I have found is that Peruvians are often interested to meet and befriend foreigners (mostly with no ulterior motive), and in a country where relationships are very important, this can be a big advantage. As you point out, this privilege doesn´t necessarily reflect in the salary that foreigners earn, but it might provide an advantage in getting the job.

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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby Kelly » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:49 pm

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never felt that I've been a victim of scams, other than the random taxi driver or cobrador trying to overcharge me, . Truth is, I often get better prices than my husband, as he will readily attest.

I've also never felt any type of resentment from anyone here, and have always been treated warmly. Seriously, racking my brain, I can not think of one time when I've received dirty looks or any other kind of resentful treatment.

On the contrary, I often find that I have it easier - People have been helpful to me on buses, in stores and in restaurants. Because I look different, people remember me and treat me well as a client.

And how do 'white people' have it better? There are dozens of examples of light skinned people getting advantages here not afforded to darker skinned people - but one sticks out in my mind. I use a prescription migraine medicine, and have always been able to buy it without a problem from pharmacies here. One day, out of medicine and with a terrible headache, I asked my mother in law to pick some up for me. My mother in law, with dark skin, long black hair in a braid and conservatively, traditionally dressed, went to pharmacy after pharmacy and couldn't buy this medicine. She was told time and again that she'd need a prescription, or simply that they were out. Maybe it's not a big deal, but it's a discriminatory practice, all the same.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby mulcahen » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:25 am

[quote="cuymagico"]? And do they outweigh being made a target of every kind of scam, and random people's resentment, and those looks you get when going out in public with someone whose skin is as dark as 98% of Peruvians?

Its a shame you have had those experiences cuymagico. I would say it is not the norm.I have certainly always been treated very well by the vast majority of locals and if anything have been treated better than they would treat each other.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby Wine Lover » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm

I have never really experienced racism as a foreigner however I have seen many instances of resentment and envy towards foreigners.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby americorps » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:52 pm

One can not talk about racism in Peru without discussing the bigger ism, classism. Even most racism is based more on that.

Recently a friend asked me where a nice place to vacation would be that is not expensive and is close. I suggested around Huaraz, Ankash. Mountains, ruins, glaciers, thermal baths, lagoons, it is beautiful, peaceful, interesting, cheap and close.

His Peruvian partner said he would not go to Ankash because the only people who live there are drunks and maids and he will not associate with those people.

I had to remind them that my valdemont was from Ankash.

There are so many things wrong with that. Stereotypes..and what in the heck is wrong with having a housekeeper as a friend?

I have seen it before with my own eyes. I went to a disco in Larcomar. There were about 8 of us, 4 Peruvians and 4 Gringos. We arrived apart and the Peruvians were behind the rope waiting to get in as us gringos were ushered in ahead of the line. I went to call for our friends and the bouncer said they had to wait. I asked why and he said, they do not have money and we do not want them in here. I guess he did not realize we were all together as I grabbed all our friends and a few other gringos I knew standing in line, we made a big fuss and went elsewhere.

I also know a gringo that was invited to a party at an estate in La Planecia who took his Peruvian boyfriend. When they arrived, the hostess actually asked my friend to stay, but send his partner home because he looked to "serrano".... just for the record, that is much like the N word in the US, and should NEVER be used...it means poor uneducated mountain person.

I beleive the girl who said that, the party hostess made the unfortunate mistake of wearing a white dress as I doubt she ever got the wine stain out.

it really disgusts me. I once heard some students talking like that when I taught English and I made sure they were embarassed for saying something like that in my class. In no society or culture is it ok and so things like Nazi Germany never happen again, I think we all have an obligation to humanity to confront or question it when heard. To me, bigots fall in the same catagory as abusers, and bigotry is a mental illness.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby tomsax » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:32 pm

Alan wrote:Here is a link to BBC Radio´s "Outlook". The piece deals with the Jorge Benavides character "Negro Mama", a caricature of a lazy, dump, thieving black, which - depending on your point of view - is either hilarious or sickening. Opinions of Peruvians interviewed in the piece range from: "If you don´t like it, turn it off" , to "this perpetuates a stereotype that helps keep blacks oppressed".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/progr ... peru.shtml

At times in this forum we have talked about how being a foreigner in Peru can result in getting charged a little more than the going price, or - as somebody mentioned recently - it can even inspire selective bad treatment from law enforcement officials, and while that may be true, probably most here agree that this society gives a tremendous amount of unearned privileges to (white?) foreigners which outweigh the negatives.

It is certainly an interesting theme, so.. a couple questions for anybody who wants to take them on:

1) Is the issue of racism in Peru as bad as most outsiders perceive it to be? In other words: are we enlightened or judgmental?
2) What have been your experience with race in other South American countries, and how does they compare with Peru?
3) If you are a non-white foreigner, what is your perspective? In what cases does being a foreigner trump discrimination?
4) Will things change here? How will that happen? How long will it take?

- Alan


Great radio piece Alan. 1) People who say that racism is bad in Peru are are certainly right. I don't know if enlightened is the right word as it you don't have to be a rocket science to work it out.
2) I only really know Colombia as well as Peru. I think a lot of racism exists there as well but it isn't as blatent.
3) I cant answer myself but I had a friend of Indian parentage who visited me in Peru and he was shocked by how he was addressed by some white people in Peru in supermarkets and on the street, who assumed he was Peruvian. However when my Peruvian friends got to know where he was from they called him "el gringo moreno" and he got the customary gringo honarary status
4) I'm an optimist so I think things will change but it is a painful transition. Lets face it, there is still racism in our countries, its just better hidden and people have raged against moves to deal with it, just like in Peru. We are only slightly more "enlightened". My grandparents would have found the Negro Mama stuff hilarious and would have been shocked to have been called racist. It doesnt mean they weren't though. Here's a video from my grandmas generation - she loved all that stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfiNT6AKG0s

Things will change when we all face up to their own racist prejudices and accept that we are all prone to racism because it is so prevalent in society. And I count myself and other enlightened rocket scientists in that.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby Alan » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:32 pm

About 13 years ago I was asked by a neighbor to play the role of a university professor for a commercial that publicized the school. All the actors representing the students were Peruvian, but were overall pretty light skinned, and spent their time joking that they would never in their life attend the university they were getting paid to promote.

Now here is a possible sign of progress: the same university is now rotating a new commercial, but this time, none of the actors are gringos or look-alikes, and they are much more representative of the demographic that the university actually attracts.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby mahou123 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:00 pm

I think it´s good to point out that racism in Peru is different from ´traditional´ understanding of what a racism is, such as white people mistreating non-white because they have majority, sense of supremacy and all the power to do so. In Peru, this is rather different from any ´white supremacy´ idea, this is mixed race people (cholos) discriminating other cholos on understanding they have more European blood or living on the coast.

There is really some racial or ethnic hatred of people from the coast towards reople from the mountains(serranos), but it can be, as here on the North coast, Amerindian people thinking they are superior to people from Cajamarca area, that tend to be really white of Spanish descent. So this is not really assumed supremacy of ´white´ over ´non-white´.

I don´t think any really ´white´ Peruvian, there should be 2 to 5% of those, are any racist, mistreating other races. They don´t really have numbers to do so.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby tomsax » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:14 pm

mahou123 wrote:I think it´s good to point out that racism in Peru is different from ´traditional´ understanding of what a racism is, such as white people mistreating non-white because they have majority, sense of supremacy and all the power to do so. In Peru, this is rather different from any ´white supremacy´ idea, this is mixed race people (cholos) discriminating other cholos on understanding they have more European blood or living on the coast.

There is really some racial or ethnic hatred of people from the coast towards reople from the mountains(serranos), but it can be, as here on the North coast, Amerindian people thinking they are superior to people from Cajamarca area, that tend to be really white of Spanish descent. So this is not really assumed supremacy of ´white´ over ´non-white´.

I don´t think any really ´white´ Peruvian, there should be 2 to 5% of those, are any racist, mistreating other races. They don´t really have numbers to do so.


It may not be traditional in the sense of white people looking as they do in Europe or the US, but in my experience in Peru whiter is seen as better, superior, more desirable, more likely to "tener cultura" and associated more with wealth, prestige and power. That's just the way it is. There is also some resentment and bitterness from some towards white people, which is perhaps understandable but is isn't common. How many Peruvians do I know that didn't like a photo I took of themselves because they looked dark in the light, but they liked another where they looked lighter. How many Peruvians do I know who think a blond white child is more beautiful and cute darker child.

I've certainly met quite a few very white Peruvians in Lima who are racist. Of course its also mixed up with ideas of higher and lower "culture" and people of not having "education" etc etc. but racism is certainly a part of it.

But, yes, in general it is not white people per se who are racist but people who believe that they are whiter and therefore better than others. I once met a Peruvain in London who explained to me at great length that she didn't like Black people - it wasn't that she was a racist she was at pains to explain, just that in general she just didn't like black people and she never would, and that the UK should stop all immigration of anyone black to the UK. And she would have been judged in exactly the same way by racists in London with all the same sort of excuses.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby Alan » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:43 pm

Really interesting answers. I haven´t had the privilege of traveling much in South America, and wonder about how these same issues and questions play out there. Any thoughts?
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby tupacperu » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:50 pm

Additional article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/latin_ ... 205171.stm

Peru's minorities battle racism
Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Sunday, 13 June 2010 17:42 UK
E-mail this to a friendPrintable version By Dan Collyns

BBC News, Lima

Peru may be a melting-pot nation, but it has deep-set racial prejudices There is a saying in Peru - "el que no tiene de Inga tiene de Mandinga" - which means every Peruvian has either some indigenous or African blood.

It is an often-quoted proverb used to explain the country's blend of races.

Racial mixing began mixing with the Spanish conquistadors who overran the Inca Empire in the 16th Century, and continued with successive waves of African slaves, indentured Chinese labourers and migrants from Japan and Europe.

The phrase speaks of a melting-pot nation but does not hint at Peru's deep-set prejudices.

The country has socio-economic gaps along race lines and its inherent, if subtle, discrimination can mean an indigenous woman may only ever work as a maid; a black man may only ever aspire to be a hotel doorman.

This is the kind of everyday racism which dictates the lives of many Peruvians.

Reinforced stereotypes

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to ending this racism is the fact that it is simply seen as a joke.

Daniel Valenzuela foresees a day when Peru has a black president Complain and people will chide you and ask: "Where's your sense of humour?"

And, by and large, most Peruvians don't complain; they just go along with it.

Racial stereotypes are reinforced on a daily basis in the media. Tabloid newspapers use crude sexual innuendo to describe a black congresswoman in a way they would not dare refer to a white member of parliament.

They compare a black footballer to a gorilla when he loses his temper on the pitch.

And on prime-time Saturday night television, the country's most popular comedy programme abounds with racial stereotypes with which the audience are so familiar they scarcely question what they are watching.

Temporary suspension

But in April, something changed.

Continue reading the main story
The girls I teach can still get racist comments from the teachers, but now they're better prepared to respond
Carmen Luz Medrano
Youth worker
One of Peru's main channels, Frecuencia Latina, suspended a popular comedic character called El Negro Mama - a grotesque caricature of a black man, played by an actor wearing a prosthetic nose and lips with a blackened face.

The channel pulled the character after the threat of legal action from Lundu, an African-Peruvian civil rights organisation led by campaigner Monica Carrillo.

In a statement, the channel accepted the character may have been offensive to some viewers.

But it refused to suspend a stereotypical depiction of an indigenous Andean woman - La Paisana Jacinta - despite complaints of racism, saying the character had "evolved".

Racial stereotypes, however, die hard.

Ms Carrillo became the target of an abusive counter-campaign using social networking sites to call for El Negro Mama to be reinstated. And after little more than a month's absence, the character was back on the air by popular demand.

Frecuencia Latina declined the BBC's request for an interview.

Few options

Like many Peruvians, Daniel Garcia cannot see what all the fuss is about.

"Here in Peru we poke fun at all races," said the middle-class lawyer and father-of-three.

"I have black friends who laugh at El Negro Mama. I don't see the character and think all black people are like that; that they walk in a simian way, that they are thieves.

Peru was the region's first country to apologise for centuries of prejudice "On the programme they also imitate two old white upper class women, but you don't see them going out onto the streets and protesting, because they understand that it's just TV.

"If you don't like it, you can change the channel!"

But for most black Peruvians, who make up around 10% of Peru's 29.5m population, there is little they can do to change their options.

The majority are trapped in poverty and lack opportunities: Indigenous and African-descendants in Peru earn 40% less than mixed-race people, says Hugo Nopo.

The co-author of Discrimination in Latin America: An Economic Perspective, he explains that this is a trend across Latin America.

Peru lies somewhere in the middle - better than Brazil but worse than Ecuador, for example - in terms of wage differences along race lines.

In El Carmen - one of the historic population centres of African-Peruvians, 180km south of Lima - Carmen Luz Medrano said that when she was at school, the teachers said "blacks" could only think until midday.

"I had to work twice as hard to get good marks," said Ms Medrano, who now works with children in El Carmen.

"The girls I teach can still get racist comments from the teachers, but now they're better prepared to respond.

"They're not the same submissive kids who used to bow their heads and take it as we did."

Dapper poet

But in tough Lima neighbourhoods like La Victoria, it is harder to shake off the racial stereotypes, said Cecilia Ramirez, director of the Peruvian Black Women's Development Centre.

Continue reading the main story
Black is associated with all that's bad and negative
Cecilia Ramirez

Peruvian Black Women's Development Centre
"The hardest thing about being black in Peru is seeing how our children are discriminated against and how this affects their identity and their self-esteem to the point that they want to deny their own race," she said.

"Black is associated with all that's bad and negative."

African-Peruvians have much to be proud of. Their music and dance, food and religious festivals have left their mark on Peruvian culture.

African-Peruvians also took to a poetic style known as decima, a form which was exemplified in the work of Afro-Peruvian poet Nicomedes Santa Cruz.

Daniel Valenzuela demonstrated this form eloquently, articulating the verse's rhyme and meter.

A dapper young man wearing pinstripe trousers high on his waist, polished black shoes and a white cloth cap, he was optimistic about the future for ethnic minorities in Peru.

"The day will come when there's a black president in Peru - just like Obama in the US - and he's going to make some big changes," he said.

Change now

Last November, Peru became the first country in the region to apologise to its African-descended population for centuries of abuse, exclusion and discrimination.

Yet the country is considered one of the most backward nations in the Americas when it comes to legislation against racism, and promoting equal opportunities.

"In the fight against racial discrimination we've come up against certain limits," said Mayta Capac Alatrista, director of the Institute for the Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples.

"It's difficult to sanction a particular media outlet... as it's difficult to identify who's at fault. A letter of complaint can often serve a moral sanction."

While Lundu and other Afro-Peruvians movements welcome the state apology they agree they cannot wait for the state to take concrete action.

"We can't wait for another generation. We need a change right now", said Ms Carrillo.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby craig » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:51 am

Reading the recent new biography of San Martin by John Lynch

San Martin: Argentine Soldier, American Hero

I found the following long paragraph on page 116 which seems historically relevant to this discussion.

On the eve of the revolution Peru had a population of just over 1.1 million. The Indians (58% of the toatal) and mestizos (22%) were concentrated in the Aneadn region, where they practised subsistence agriculture and provided labour for mines, obrajes and haciendas. Black slaves formed some 4% of the population, and free coloured about the same. But in Lima and the costal valleys, where commercial agriculture and a plantation economy demanded a more mobile labour force, blacks and pardos predominated among the non-Spanish population. The whites totaled less than 13% of the whole and were to be found chiefly on the coast, with a sizeable concentration also in Cuzco. But race was not the only determinant of status. Peru was split too by deep social and economic divisions. The ruling elite, of course, Spaniards and creoles alike, were inevitably white. But not all Indians were culturally Indian. As the author of El Lazarillo de ciegos caminantes pointed out, it was sufficient for an Indian to wash, cut his hair, wear a clean shirt and get a useful job to pass for a cholo: 'If he serves his Spanish master well, the later dresses him and puts him in shoes, and in two months he is known as a mestizo'. The mestizos themselves were not a single social group; depending on their education, work, way of life, they could approximate to whites or Indians. The mulattos and other castes suffered even worse discrimination than the mestizos: they were forbidden to dress as whites, to live in white districts, to marry whites, and they had their own churches and burial grounds. But even the coloured people were not immutably classified by race; economic advancement could secure them white status either by 'passing' or by purchase of a certificate of whiteness. So there were cultural as well as racial determinants, though this did not lessen the divisions in Peruvian society or dilute its seigneurial values. It was precisely in the social fragmentation and the clash of interests -- between an educated elite and Andean peasants, between blacks and Indians, between slaves and free workers -- that Spanish rulers found mechanisms of social control and a guarantee of stability.


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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby tomsax » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:05 am

craig wrote:Reading the recent new biography of San Martin by John Lynch

San Martin: Argentine Soldier, American Hero

I found the following long paragraph on page 116 which seems historically relevant to this discussion.

On the eve of the revolution Peru had a population of just over 1.1 million. The Indians (58% of the toatal) and mestizos (22%) were concentrated in the Aneadn region, where they practised subsistence agriculture and provided labour for mines, obrajes and haciendas. Black slaves formed some 4% of the population, and free coloured about the same. But in Lima and the costal valleys, where commercial agriculture and a plantation economy demanded a more mobile labour force, blacks and pardos predominated among the non-Spanish population. The whites totaled less than 13% of the whole and were to be found chiefly on the coast, with a sizeable concentration also in Cuzco. But race was not the only determinant of status. Peru was split too by deep social and economic divisions. The ruling elite, of course, Spaniards and creoles alike, were inevitably white. But not all Indians were culturally Indian. As the author of El Lazarillo de ciegos caminantes pointed out, it was sufficient for an Indian to wash, cut his hair, wear a clean shirt and get a useful job to pass for a cholo: 'If he serves his Spanish master well, the later dresses him and puts him in shoes, and in two months he is known as a mestizo'. The mestizos themselves were not a single social group; depending on their education, work, way of life, they could approximate to whites or Indians. The mulattos and other castes suffered even worse discrimination than the mestizos: they were forbidden to dress as whites, to live in white districts, to marry whites, and they had their own churches and burial grounds. But even the coloured people were not immutably classified by race; economic advancement could secure them white status either by 'passing' or by purchase of a certificate of whiteness. So there were cultural as well as racial determinants, though this did not lessen the divisions in Peruvian society or dilute its seigneurial values. It was precisely in the social fragmentation and the clash of interests -- between an educated elite and Andean peasants, between blacks and Indians, between slaves and free workers -- that Spanish rulers found mechanisms of social control and a guarantee of stability.


Craig


Very interesting. A Peruvian once told me that in 19th century Lima the majority of the population was black and that this was why there is so much African influence in criolla music. This surprised me when I heard it. I've never found firm confirmation of this anywhere else but this piece suggests it might be true.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby craig » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:33 pm

Reading on in the John Lynch biography of San Martin

San Martin: Argentine Soldier, American Hero

I found out some information about slavery at the time of the Liberation. I had thought that slavery never played a large part in Peru and was abolished earlier by the Spanish. This was not the case.

P171 wrote:Peru at the end of the 18th century in a population of over 1 million consisted of about 80,000 blacks, divided equally between 40,000 slave and 40,000 free. The slaves worked in plantation and domestic service; some escaped to live outside the law; and a few were even owned by Indian communities in the sierra. San Martin did not favour universal manumission but prefered to proceed as possibilities arose.


P172 wrote:Abolition of slavery was a distant prospect. In a decree of 12 August 1821 San Martin denounced the criminal traffic of human beings and the degradation of families by the sale of their members. His words of outrage were more resounding than the policies prescribed.

When humanity has been so greatly abused and its rights violated for so long, a singular act of justice is needed, if not to compensate them entirely, at least to take the first steps in complying with the holiest of obligations. A substantial portion of our race has until today been looked on as an exchangeable asset, subject to the calculations of a criminal tariff; men have bought men and have not been ashamed of debasing the family to which they belong, selling one person to others. I shall not try to attack this ancient abuse with a single blow: it needs time itself to destroy it, as time has sanctioned it. But I would not be responsible to my public conscience and to my private feelings were I not to prepare for the future with this merciful reform, reconciling for the present the interests of the proprietors with the vote of reason and nature.

He confirmed the abolition of the slave trade, which he described as 'an ancient abuse', and as for slavery itself he declared that the children of slaves born from 28 July 1821, the date of independence, including those in royalist-held territory, were free and at the age of 21 would gain full rights of citizenship. These libertos (freedman), however, were to remain for some years under the control of the mother's owner, who by decree of 24 November was obliged to provide for their education and training.


P173 wrote:And on various occaisions manumission was offered in return for military service. On 2 September 1821 as part of a recruiting campaign San Martin declared that every slave who fought against the enemy and conducted himself bravely would be free. ... On 17 November, declaring that 'one of the duties of government is to promote the freedom of those who have inhumanely suffered until today the usurpation of that inalienable right' the Protector [San Martin] freed all the slaves belonging to the Spaniards and enemy creoles.

This is very reminiscent of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in which he declared the slaves in the South, over which he had no control, emancipated while leaving the slaves he really could have freed in chains. Both were similar measures of expediency but with a difference in motivation. Lincoln was a self-avowed advocate of slavery who, in the emancipation, acted against own his beliefs out of military necessity (and desperation since the North was losing the war at the time). Whereas San Martin refrained from putting his anti-slavery convictions into full practice in independent Peru as what he regarded as a necessary compromise.

P173 wrote:Slavery survived independence virtually intact. The Constitution of 1823 delcared that no one could be born a slave in Peru and prohibited the slave trade into Peru. But slave owners opposed all these measures and although the trade was discontinued, slavery itself survived in coastal agriculture and domestic service, and was not abolished until 1854.


P173-174 wrote:San Martin, therefore, did not abolish slavery. His policy sprang from a liberal mind and a humanitarian spirit, and if he stopped short of total abolition of slavery, this was evidence of the constraints operating in a society dominated by a landowning elite. ... He was also led by his usual search, in common with other liberators, for a middle way between two conflicting principles, personal liberty and rights of property, and by his own adherence to gradualism. The mentality of the liberators was of their time. Slaves did not have a right to freedom ouside a creole-given right; it was not a natural right, and it was certainly not equality. This was the model of the revolution throughout Spanish America.


Craig
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americorps
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby americorps » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:09 pm

A tragic note to Peruvian history is Peru is responsible for decimation of the Easter Island indiginous inhabitants. They were captured and brought to Peru to be slaves, but subsequently became ill with various disease and thusly were returned to Easter Island where the infected the remaining population, decimating nearly everyone.

in 1862 Peru captured nearly a third of the island population to use as slaves to mine the bird poop, a major source of income for Peru at the time. Of those they captured, 90% died of disease. When the remainder were returned to the Island, they returned with the disease and killed many more Rap Nui.

Some estimates suggest that Peru alone took the population from over 3000 to under a thousand in 2 years.
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby El Tunche » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:07 pm

All my school life i was called "negro" by my classmates (that means black) and it was never an offense, but , yeah , you can get discriminated for being white deeo in the mountains or deep in the amazon jungle , but thats because of the clash between races that they losed against the spaniard in the highlands case, and the "Caucho fever " in the amazon jungle case
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby minos » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:50 pm

In the Peru discrimination is not phenotypica. in other countries you will be B in spite of belonging to an elite economic power, and probably marry someone of your color.

In Peru, racism is class, there are families who have been "choleadas" all his life, and suddenly come to have money and are part of an elite, and then they are now respected and they are those who "choléan", and so happens to "Serrano", "jungle", etc...

Everything focuses on differences in education and economic power.

In addition, television helps, because it has created an esthetic racism, which is outside of reality, since in beauty pageants in the world where the contribution of indigenous has provided WINS: sweet and poisoned eyes, sensual skin, strong but gentle traits of women... and finally, me too too...

So in Peru are discriminated against majorities, that is not what happens in other countries, where they are minorities. It's really a complex phenomenon, I have the feeling that we are more advanced in the sense that we have thousands of years of living between different races
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Re: Race in Peru - Perspectives from Foreigners

Postby SilverbackPeru » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:40 pm

There is massive problems in Peru with racism, and i find it one of the most difficult things to put up with here. Being told for the first time that you are not allowed to socialise with someone because of their race is a very weird experience, especially with how accepted the racism is.

I do think the racism is mixed in with elitism and huge class divides. When you hear reasons why People won't mix with other races it's generally down to class divide problems more than colour. Yes they will stereotype a person by colour but if you are from a different race but are well mannered and presented they do get accepted.

You hear things like "don't become too friendly with the help, it will go to their head" and other sayings, which at first i thought was crazy, but as i've been here longer i have seen it where you see people with attitude who think they are higher than what they are, and how they treat their fellow family members, friends or race.

I kind of find that the upper classes can be extremely untolerant a lot of the time towards other people. Their point of arguement being that the lack of social manners and other minor issues that the poor classes have, yet you could easily argue the same towards the upper class with their total untolerance which is also another social problem. They offer no help to people climbing the ladder with adjusting their behaviour to fit into the new social circles, instead they keep they at a distance and never letting them integrate, which just keeps the class divide going.

There is some plus points how ever here, you can call people fatty, blackie or gringo without meaning offence here. It can be so easy to tar someone as racist, by the wrong use of a word, even if it is meant without offence. Just look at how the culture differences had a effect with the whole Luis Suarez situation in English Football. He has been branded with the racist flag for the rest of his life now.

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